Winter Gardening

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Editor in Chief Sharon Cooper’s

TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR GARDEN INTO SHAPE THIS SEASON

With winter fast approaching and temperatures soon set to drop it’s time to consider what our gardens will need to help prepare them for the cooler, wetter months. Getting your garden ready for winter is pretty simple and if you take the time to do it then it will mean that you have the best chance of enjoying thriving blooms come spring.

Here, Blooms editor, Sharon Cooper, shares a few of her top tips to help you prepare your garden for the winter season.

PRUNE YOUR PLANTS

Winter is the ideal time to start pruning trees, plants and shrubs whilst they are dormant. Pruning your plants in winter encourages them to grow come the warmer months and helps to stop disease from taking hold.

CLEAN UP

As winter sets in its really important to make sure that your garden is free of disease and the best way to do this is by clearing out all the old, dead plants, veggies and anything else that is past its used by date! Give your garden a good weed and if your garden has any bean stakes or wooden trellises then now is the time to give them a good clean with a bleach and water solution to ensure that they are germ free.

TOP UP MULCH

Over the cooler months, activity in your garden may appear to have all but stopped, however don’t be fooled as therewill still be a lot happening underground. Mulch helps to moderate soil temperatures, keeping the roots of your plans moist and cool. This is especially important in the winter months when your plants might be exposed to windy and harsh conditions. Mulch is also a great weapon against soil erosion and by covering your garden with mulch you will be effectively protecting it from the elements.

COMPOST LEAVES

Winter is a great time to start a compost bin. As the wild winter weather brings dead leaves and various other debris into your garden these can be collected and used as to make compost, mulch and leaf mould. This is a great trick as you are not only clearing and cleaning up your garden but you are stockpiling quality fertiliser for the year ahead.

TEST YOUR SOIL

To ensure that your garden has the best chance of surviving the winter it’s a good idea to test the pH level of your soil. You want to make sure that your soil levels are balanced and not either too acidic or too alkaline. This can easily be done with a pH kit or an electronic tester that you can purchase from any good garden shop. By making sure that the pH level of your soil is correct you will be setting your garden in good stead for not only surviving the winter but also thriving
come spring.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLANTS

Some plants absolutely thrive in winter so make sure you choose your winter garden wisely. Vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, peas, broccoli and Brussels sprouts actually grow best in the cooler months whilst root veggies like baby carrots, turnips and radishes also do well. If you want a pop of colour try planting English daisies, cherry pansies and snapdragons. All of these varieties should do well in the winter months unless your garden is subjected to the intense cold.